ATU’s First Generation Institute Empowers Students for a Bright Future with Guided Support

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  • The 2023 Arkansas Tech University First Generation Institute is a three-day program that gives rising high school seniors, who will be the first in their family to attend college, a preview of college life.
  • The program provides academic opportunities, financial assistance, and ways to get involved outside the classroom, and each student had a positive experience as expressed during the closing ceremony.
  • The program has been offered every summer since 2019, and this year, 26 students completed the 2023 program.

Arkansas Tech University’s (ATU) First Generation Institute (FGI) is paving the way for a brighter future for its students. The FGI, a program designed specifically for first-generation college students, provides its participants with the tools necessary for success during and after their college careers.

The FGI serves as a guide for its students, offering academic and personal support in the form of workshops, mentorships, and various resources. This comprehensive approach aims to equip students with the confidence and skills they need to successfully navigate their college experience and ultimately achieve their career goals.

According to Vice President of Student Affairs at ATU, Dr. Barbara Johnson, “FGI serves as a support system that offers not only academic support but also personal and professional development opportunities, which are all key to a successful college and career experience.”

The FGI’s mission is to ensure that every first-generation student at ATU has the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential. Through the program’s collaborative efforts with alumni, faculty, and staff, the FGI is helping to close the achievement gap between first-generation students and their peers.

For Donovan Woods, a current FGI participant at ATU, the program has done just that. “FGI has really helped me to connect the dots, connecting the academic work that I’m doing with the career path that I want to pursue,” said Woods.

With its innovative approach to student success, the First Generation Institute at Arkansas Tech University is setting the standard for programs designed for first-generation college students nationwide.

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